Friday, July 31, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, July 31, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, July 31, 2020
Psalm 17:1-7, 15; Isaiah 41:8-10; Romans 9:6-13
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

I shall see your face
1  Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
     listen to my cry.
   Hear my prayer—
     it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2  Let my vindication come from you;
     may your eyes see what is right.

3  Though you probe my heart,
     though you examine me at night and test me,
   you will find that I have planned no evil;
     my mouth has not transgressed.
4  Though people tried to bribe me,
     I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
    through what your lips have commanded.
5  My steps have held to your paths;
     my feet have not stumbled.

6  I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
     turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
7  Show me the wonders of your great love,
     you who save by your right hand
     those who take refuge in you from their foes.

15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
     when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Jacob is God’s chosen
8  “But you, Israel, my servant,
     Jacob, whom I have chosen,
     you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9  I took you from the ends of the earth,
     from its farthest corners I called you.
   I said, ‘You are my servant’;
     I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
     do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
   I will strengthen you and help you;
     I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

True descendants of Abraham
9:6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Daily Lectionary is a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, July 31, 2020
Psalm 17:1-7, 15; Isaiah 41:8-10; Romans 9:6-13

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, July 31, 2020
The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, July 31, 2020

Ignatius of Loyola (1491—1556)

Ignatius was born to a noble Spanish family. As a young man, he joined the military, but a war injury ended his military career. While recuperating, Ignatius became bored and asked for novels about knights and battles. But all that could be found in the castle where he stayed were books on the life of Christ and the saints of the church. Legend has it that Ignatius read these stories in a competitive manner, imagining how he could beat the various saints at practicing the spiritual disciplines. He soon found that his thoughts on the saints left him with more peaceful and satisfying feelings than his daydreams about the noble life he had known before his injury. After his illness, Ignatius began practicing his competitive notions of rivaling the saints and wrote about his experiences of Christian disciplines. His scribblings became the spiritual classic The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, used by Christians for centuries in the practice of discernment. He eventually founded the Society of Jesus, an order still known widely for a commitment to foreign missions and religious education.

These are the words of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits: “Consider that the blessed life we so long for consists in an intimate and true love of God, our Creator, and Lord, which binds and obliges us all to a sincere love.”

Jesus, it is enough to tell others of your works of mercy, of your resurrection, of your imminent return. It is enough to praise you in the sanctuary, to kneel before you, to wait in silence for you. Lord, it is enough to be named as one of your children, to be bound in eternal love and freedom to give up our lives for you. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, July 31, 2020

John 1:12-13
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Read all of John 1

Listen to John 1

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Viernes 31 de julio de 2020
Fortalécete en Dios

Convertiré su duelo en gozo, y los consolaré; transformaré su dolor en alegría.

Siempre que pasamos una crisis, la verdad es que casi nunca sabemos cómo vamos a salir de esa situación, ni cómo vamos a quedar. Me imagino que muchos de ustedes han pasado pruebas de toda clase y tan fuertes que creyeron que era el final.

Cuando sufrimos un divorcio, una enfermedad, una pérdida, una dificultad financiera o una desilusión amorosa, salimos extenuados, ya que la situación que vivíamos nos drenó de manera física, moral y espiritual. Quedamos cansados y con ganas de unas verdaderas vacaciones. Sin duda, la prueba te devuelve golpeado, pero no derrotado.

¿Por qué es importante saber que nos podemos sentir de esta manera después de pasar situaciones tan duras? Porque somos conscientes de nuestra humanidad y que aunque luchemos con nuestras fuerzas, la sanidad verdadera solo la obtendremos en Dios. Al igual que el cuerpo necesita fortalecerse para una total recuperación después de una enfermedad, también nosotros debemos fortalecernos en el Señor para tener la verdadera recuperación.

La fortaleza en Dios la encontramos en el gozo, en la fe, en la esperanza y en la búsqueda incansable de su Palabra y su presencia.

No dejes de orar, no dejes de leer el Manual de Instrucciones y no dejes de congregarte.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
La fortaleza en Dios la encontramos en el gozo, en la fe, en la esperanza y en la búsqueda incansable de su Palabra y su presencia.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, July 31, 2020

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Ron Boyd-MacMillan shares the story of Sister Lin and family from North Korea. As Christians, she and her husband prayed for a child for years. After many years she finally conceived. They asked God for a safe delivery because it was now the severe famine period of the mid-1990s.

Her husband went to search for food but came home weeping. All he could offer her was bark from a tree to make soup. It was not enough to nourish a woman with child. Then her husband went further afield to find food and was shot to death by soldiers as he foraged food from the garbage bags on a train. She was now alone.

When contractions started, she lay on the ground and gave birth to a dead baby boy. She named him after her husband and buried the body. From there she began to walk north and crossed the river into China. A Korean Christian family in China nurtured her back to health.

Telling Ron her story, she asked, “Can I forgive God for making the world this way?” Many of us, if honest, would acknowledge that we often have doubts about God when we see the suffering and pain in our world, just like Sister Lin. But we should value our doubts because they end up bringing God close.

Ron answered her poignant question with another question, “Why are you still a Christian?”

Sister Lin replied, “First because my Lord died young and alone in excruciating pain without knowing why either. And secondly, because I have gradually come to see that God’s care is everywhere to be seen if I can look beyond my own suffering.”

RESPONSE: Today I will look beyond the suffering I see around me and see God’s love and care.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord that You do care for Your creation and that in our moments of doubt You draw close and reveal the truth of Your love and care.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Men of the Bible - Friday, July 31, 2020

His name means: "God Is Consolation"

His work: Nehemiah was a Jew living in Babylon. He and his people had been defeated by the Assyrians and taken as slaves to a foreign land. The Persians had conquered the Assyrians and were now in power. Nehemiah served Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, as his personal adviser and escort, or cupbearer. Surrounded by the opulence of a palace, Nehemiah had an eye for building and construction.
His character: Nehemiah was a tenderhearted man who loved God's people. He honored the living God and was also a man of courage and vision. His Sorrow: Living as an exile deeply troubled Nehemiah. He longed for "home" even though he had never lived there.
His triumph: Unlike his forefathers who had been defeated by the size of the task, Nehemiah's dream was to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem.
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 1-4

A Look at the Man

It's hard to imagine living your life in captivity. Rights that free men take for granted—where to live, where to work, where to go—may be denied someone living in exile. This was the lot of Nehemiah. His beloved nation had been conquered, his people driven to a foreign land where they lived as captives. But Nehemiah was not going to let external circumstances control his character. Instead, he resolved to live with integrity and in reverence before God, regardless of his locale.

Nehemiah had a dream that would not be denied by his circumstances. Like so many of the "ordinary" men of the Bible, Nehemiah believed that God was with him and would call him someday to a great task.

One day that mission presented itself to Nehemiah in the form of a fellow Hebrew named Hanani. The man reported to Nehemiah that the wall surrounding Jerusalem lay in ruin. Many years before, conquering nations had decimated it, tearing the stones to the ground and burning the great wooden gates.

In his mind, lying in bed at night, Nehemiah could see the walls of Jerusalem shining in the noonday sun, standing strong as a testament to God's presence therein. A skeptic could have argued that the odds were stacked against him, and everything told him it was impossible. How will you quit your job? The king will never let you go. How will you get back to Jerusalem? The journey is long and dangerous. Who will pay for this project? The cost in human labor and materials is well beyond your reach. You're a slave, Nehemiah. You're hundreds of miles from home, Nehemiah. You don't have a shekel to your name, Nehemiah.

But Nehemiah was not to be denied. The story of his successful campaign—the fulfillment of his dream—is the stuff of folklore and legend.

Ironically, as the story of the rebuilding of the wall unfolded, Nehemiah's greatest foes were not those tactical challenges—travel, safety, funding—but the emotional ones. Nehemiah and those who were working with him were forced to face the greatest test of all—discouragement.

In his sovereignty, God allowed two men, Sanballat and Tobiah, to attempt to interfere with Nehemiah's work. At first, their taunts were verbal: "What are those feeble Jews doing? If even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones." But when their words didn't stop the men's efforts, their mocking words turned to threats of sabotage.

So Nehemiah stationed half of the workers as sentries with swords, spears, and bows to guard the walls. The rest of the workers—even those who were carrying the building materials—kept their weapons close by. Because of his steadfastness and confidence in God, these attempts to thwart Nehemiah's dream were crushed. And he knew where his protection was coming from. "Our God will fight for us," he told the people.

Reflect On: Nehemiah 6:15–16
Praise God: For empowering his faithful servants to do great things.
Offer Thanks: For granting us minds to dream and courage to tackle those dreams.
Confess: The temptation to take a dream that only serves our purposes and ask God to bless it, rather than to listen first to his voice.
Ask God: To give you joy in your work—to see it as the place where God wants you to be to accomplish his purposes.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
It's hard to imagine living your life in captivity. Rights that free men take for granted—where to live, where to work, where to go—may be denied someone living in exile.

LHM Daily Devotions July 31, 2020 - "The Importance of Perspective"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Importance of Perspective"

July 31, 2020

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Have you ever wondered about the purity of your motives when praying? As Christians we pray at all sorts of times—getting up in the morning, driving to work, sitting down to eat, taking a shower, mowing the lawn, and so on. The danger in this multi-tasking prayer style is that we're not truly focused on our communication. In fact, we may even be heaping up "empty phrases" (see Matthew 6:7) as Jesus puts it when referring to those who pray for show, or without real sincerity.

In addition to being distracted when we pray this way, it's possible our prayers are all about us. As when we were children, we might just ask God to meet our own needs. Unfortunately, as adults, our requests might not be much different. Our petitions may sound more sophisticated, but they may still be inwardly focused and self-promoting.

How corrupt is our sinful state that even in our prayers to God the old Adam rears his ugly, self-centered head. Consequently, we may pray with little more than a barely disguised begging for God's bounty, hoping He'll answer according to our will and, as the story goes, make all our dreams come true.

The bottom line is this: it's not all about us. Though the luxuries of this world may appear to hold all we want or need, God knows this is not so. The apostle Paul knew this when he wrote, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2). Then, by the power of God's Holy Spirit, through faith we can put off our old self and put on the new—created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave transform the lives of those who believe in Him for salvation. When we pray, let our words be humble and our thoughts centered on the magnitude of what God has done for us through the redemptive work of His Son.

Out of praise and adoration, let us offer to God prayers from a heart devoted to Him alone.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, remind me that You give only what is good to Your children. Help me to live—and pray—as You would have me do. And teach me to seek those things that are above. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. About what things do you most often pray to God about?

2. Do you pray in traditional, formula-type prayers (The Lord's Prayer, meal and bedtime prayers you've said for years), or do you focus on talking to Him, one on One, in a more personal way?

3. How much of your prayer life has a self-focus? How much is focused on others?
This Daily Devotion was written by a volunteer from LHM's Vietnam ministry center. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
About what things do you most often pray to God about?

Devocional CPTLN del 31 de julio de 2020 - Perspectiva



 31 de Julio de 2020

... cuando piden algo, no lo reciben porque lo piden con malas intenciones, para gastarlo en sus propios placeres.

¿Alguna vez has cuestionado la pureza de tus motivos al rezar? Los cristianos oramos en todo momento: al levantarnos por la mañana, al conducir al trabajo, antes de comer, mientras cortamos el césped, etc., lo cual es bueno. Pero el peligro en este estilo de oración es que no estamos totalmente enfocados en la oración. De hecho, incluso podemos estar diciendo "frases vacías" (ver Mateo 6:7), que es a lo que se refiere Jesús cuando habla de aquellos que oran por espectáculo o sin sinceridad real.

Además de distraernos cuando oramos de esta manera, es posible que nuestras oraciones sean solo sobre nosotros, como cuando éramos niños le pedíamos a Dios que nos diera todo lo que queríamos. Muchas veces, por más que ya somos adultos, nuestras peticiones no son muy diferentes: pueden parecer más sofisticadas, pero aún están enfocadas solo en nosotros.

Tan corrupta es nuestra naturaleza, que hasta en nuestras oraciones a Dios el viejo Adán levanta su cabeza fea y egocéntrica. En consecuencia, podemos orar con poco más que una mendicidad apenas disfrazada por la generosidad de Dios, esperando que Él responda de acuerdo con nuestra voluntad y haga realidad todos nuestros sueños.

La conclusión es esta: no todo se trata de nosotros. Aunque los lujos de este mundo parecen contener todo lo que queremos o necesitamos, Dios sabe que no es así. El apóstol Pablo sabía esto cuando escribió: "Pongan la mira en las cosas del cielo, y no en las de la tierra" (Colosenses 3:2). Por el poder del Espíritu Santo de Dios, a través de la fe podemos desprendernos de nuestro viejo ser y revestirnos con el nuevo, creado para ser como Dios en verdadera justicia y santidad.

La muerte de Jesús en la cruz y su resurrección de la tumba transforman la vida de quienes creen en él para salvación. Cuando oramos, que nuestras palabras sean humildes y nuestros pensamientos se centren en la magnitud de lo que Dios ha hecho por nosotros a través de la obra redentora de su Hijo.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, recuérdame que solo das lo que es bueno a tus hijos. Ayúdame a orar como tú quieres que lo haga. Y enséñame a buscar solo tu voluntad. En el Nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Voluntario del Centro de Ministerios de LHM en Vietnam

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Sobre qué cosas le oras con más frecuencia a Dios?

* ¿Cuánto de tu vida de oración se enfoca en ti y cuánto en los demás?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Sobre qué cosas le oras con más frecuencia a Dios?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Chiếu Sáng

Chiếu Sáng

Đọc: Ma-thi-ơ 5:13–16 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 54–56; Rô-ma 3

Cũng vậy, ánh sáng của các con phải chiếu sáng trước mặt mọi người, để họ thấy những việc làm tốt đẹp của các con và ca ngợi Cha các con ở trên trời.
— Ma-thi-ơ 5:16

Tôi cảm thấy lo lắng về lớp học năm tuần về sự cầu nguyện mà tôi nhận dạy tại hội thánh địa phương. Các học viên sẽ thích lớp học này chứ? Họ có thích tôi không? Lo lắng khiến tôi mất tập trung, dẫn đến việc chuẩn bị quá mức các giáo án, bài thuyết trình và bài tập trên lớp. Nhưng khi còn một tuần nữa, tôi vẫn chưa khích lệ được nhiều người tham gia.

Tuy nhiên, khi cầu nguyện, tôi được nhắc nhở rằng lớp học này là nơi làm sáng danh Chúa. Vì Đức Thánh Linh sẽ dùng lớp học để hướng mọi người đến với Cha Thiên Thượng, nên tôi sẽ gạt đi sự lo lắng của mình về việc nói trước công chúng. Khi Chúa Jêsus dạy các môn đồ của Ngài trong bài giảng trên núi, Ngài phán: “Các con là ánh sáng cho thế gian. Một cái thành xây trên núi thì không thể bị che khuất được. Không ai thắp đèn mà lại đặt dưới cái thùng, nhưng đặt trên chân đèn để nó soi sáng mọi người trong nhà” (Mat. 5:14-15).

Đọc những lời đó, cuối cùng tôi đã gửi thông báo về lớp học trên phương tiện truyền thông xã hội. Gần như ngay lập tức, mọi người bắt đầu đăng ký, bày tỏ lòng biết ơn và sự hào hứng. Nhìn thấy phản ứng của họ, tôi suy ngẫm nhiều hơn về lời dạy của Chúa Jêsus: “Ánh sáng của các con phải chiếu sáng trước mặt mọi người, để họ thấy những việc làm tốt đẹp của các con và ca ngợi Cha các con ở trên trời” (c.16).

Với quan điểm đó, tôi dạy cả lớp với niềm vui. Tôi cầu nguyện rằng hành động đơn giản của mình sẽ trở thành ngọn hải đăng và khích lệ nhiều người khác cũng chiếu sáng cho Chúa.
Khi nào bạn cảm thấy lo lắng hay tự ti để làm và sử dụng ân tứ của mình cho Chúa? Việc làm và ân tứ của bạn giúp người khác ra sao, bạn sẽ chia sẻ điều đó bằng cách nào?
Lạy Chúa Jêsus, xin ban năng lực giúp con chiếu ra ánh sáng Ngài ban để người khác có thể thấy và tôn vinh Ngài.

Chú Giải

Khái niệm ánh sáng chiếu soi trong bóng tối là một trong những chủ đề chính của các sách do Giăng viết, nhưng điều này cũng giữ vị trí chiến lược trong sách Phúc Âm Ma-thi-ơ. Sau khi Chúa Jêsus bị Sa-tan cám dỗ trong đồng vắng, Ma-thi-ơ ký thuật việc Chúa Jêsus bắt đầu chức vụ bằng cách trích dẫn lời của tiên tri Ê-sai: “Dân ngồi trong bóng tối, đã thấy ánh sáng lớn; Và những người ngồi nơi bóng sự chết bao phủ, đã thấy ánh sáng bừng lên” (Mat. 4:16; Ês. 9:1). Những lời này cung cấp bối cảnh cho lời dạy của Ngài trong phân đoạn Kinh Thánh hôm nay về việc trở thành ánh sáng cho mọi người.

Bill Crowder

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Tôi cảm thấy lo lắng về lớp học năm tuần về sự cầu nguyện mà tôi nhận dạy tại hội thánh địa phương.